News has been circulated by DWP about a Universal Credit related scam which appeared to have started across areas in Merseyside but is now believed to be nationwide.

Clients are being approached by individuals, through doorstep cold calling and outside Jobcentre Plus offices, offering ‘low cost government loans’ in return for a fee. In reality, these individuals are submitting a digital Universal Credit claim for the client, and requesting advance payments. Clients are unaware they have placed a Universal Credit claim until their existing legacy benefit stops. Clients have reported being approached by well-dressed persons, carrying what appears to be official ID.

As well as causing clients to be subject to fraud, having been scammed out of the ‘fee’ and their personal information, this scam has seen clients moved prematurely onto Universal Credit and as such losing future potential transitional protection through ‘Move to UC’ managed migration.

DWP have provided reassurance that any customers who have fallen victim of this scam will be allowed to revert back to legacy benefits but they must report what has happened themselves.

If you are concerned or require more advice please contact your local Jobcentre Plus.